Hurricane Ian Highlights the Importance of Flood Insurance, a Hedge on Your Investment

On behalf of everyone at U.S. Global Investors, I’m extending strength and resilience to the people of Florida, where an estimated 2 million customers are currently without power. Hurricane Ian, which has made landfall in the Carolinas as I write this, is already believed to be among the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history. The upper range forecast of $70 billion in damages would put the category four storm in at least the top 10, adjusted for inflation.

Ian Likely AMong the Costliest Hurricanes on Record

Of particular concern is Florida’s systemic lack of flood insurance. Just 18.5% of homes in Florida counties that were told to evacuate have coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Most regular homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, which is why Congress created the NFIP in 1968. But at an average cost of $995 a year, according to Forbes, the insurance may be out of reach to many households.

I can’t stress how important it is to have this type of coverage, though, especially if you live in regions where flooding is possible, and you can afford the premiums.

I’m sure many of you have seen the videos of entire first floors of some Florida homes completely inundated with floodwater. According to FEMA, each additional inch of water that floods a home or business increases the total repair cost by a shocking multiple. Even one inch of water in a typical 2,500-square-foot house can carry a price tag approaching $27,000. That $995-per-year payment for NFIP coverage starts to look a lot more attractive.

Cost of Flooding Damage Per Inches of Water in the Home

As an investor, you may have hedged your securities to reduce the risk of loss in your portfolio. Some typical strategies include buying put options, futures contracts and other financial instruments, or investing in assets such as gold that have a negative correlation to stocks. It might be helpful to think of flood insurance as a hedge on the investment you’ve made in your home.